Lillard Burns The Heat

 

----- Damian Lillard scores 33 points and Gary Trent Jr. adds 22 as the Portland Trail Blazers defeat the Miami Heat 115-109 Sunday night at Moda Center.

The best response is always a win.

After getting robbed on a no-call at the end of their loss Friday night in Utah, the Trail Blazers responded with a solid team-win taking out the Miami Heat 115-109 Sunday night at Moda Center.

Damian Lillard led Portland (25-29) with 33 points and eight assists. It was his 19th-straight game scoring 20 or more points and the 25th time on the season he has scored 30 or more, 4th most in the NBA.

“We did about as good of a job as you can on Lillard,” Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We got the ball out of his hands, which is very hard to do, and then it ended up in Gary Trent’s hards and he made those shots.”

Gary Trent continued his solid play scoring 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting including 5-of-7 from three-point range. He is making shots and showing toughness on the defensive end.

''You just love to see it,'' Lillard said. ''I told him the other day, I don't know if I've been more proud or happier for another player or a younger player since I've been in the league. A second-round pick, McDonald's All-American and went Duke, but doesn't get an opportunity right away. He had a lot to learn, his dad played in the league, and he did it.''

Trent nailed a critical three-pointer with 2:08 remaining to give Portland a 110-103 lead, giving his opponents something to talk about.

''He has really stepped up and played well,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''It's not easy to be a role player with great players. That sounds easy but you have to do a lot of the little things. At the end of the clock teams are trying to get the ball out of the great players' hands and you have to step up and he hit a big shot.''

Trevor Ariza ignited the Blazers early with 15 of his 21 points coming in the first quarter. He connected on seven of his 10 shots and dished out five asissts.

The Blazers connected on 47.1% of their field goals including a scorching 19-of-42 from beyond-the-arc.

Hassan Whiteside finished with 11 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocked shots against his former team, and connected on a pair of free throws with 11.5 seconds to give Portland a seven-point lead.

Portland has now won six of their last eight games overall heading into a tough back-to-back at New Orleans and at Memphis on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading into the All Star Break.

Up Next- The Trail Blazers travel to New Orleans to play the first of a back-to-back against the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 5:00 PM.

Chad's Take- Gary Trent scored 22 on 11 shots. He needs more shots.

 
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